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Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition

Moby ID: 39815
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Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition is an updated sequel to its predecessor that features 4,000 different puzzles and the standard features of Wheel of Fortune such as the bonus round. It also has a digitized likeness of Vanna White along with her voice. There are also digitized photos of people that can be chosen to represent the player. Players can go up against friends or compete against the computer A.I.

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Credits (SNES version)

16 People

Developed by
Produced by
Executive Producer
Manual written by
Package Design by
Manual Design by
  • Bracchi Design Inc.
Production Manager
Manual Editing by



Average score: 55% (based on 2 ratings)


Average score: 1.7 out of 5 (based on 2 ratings with 1 reviews)

Winbow is not a word!

The Good
I must apologize. You see, a while ago I reviewed the NES version of Wheel of Fortune and I wasn’t entirely fair to it. For one thing, I didn’t play it with anyone else to test how it held up with multi-player, nor did I play any other version of the game to see how it held up to its peers. Thus, I was given a rather negative view of not just the game, but the game show genre as a whole. Little did I know that I’d be pulling out the game almost every time my sister and brother-in-law came to visit. Turns out, the game is much better when played with two other people. Unfortunately, the damage is done and all I can do is apologize to the game’s legions of fans. To make it up to you, I’m now going to take a look at one of the Super Nintendo iterations of the popular game show: Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition.

I’m sure you know how Wheel of Fortune works, but if you don’t know, it’s pretty simple. It’s essentially like the game hangman, only before you pick a letter, you spin a wheel to randomly decide what each letter is worth. Also, there’s no one being hanged. The person who accumulates the most money by the end of the rounds gets to move on to the bonus round where if they solve the puzzle, they win some fab prizes. Personally, I was always more of a Price is Right or Family Feud kind of guy when it comes to game shows, but now I don’t have cable so I don’t watch anything.

So what has changed between consoles? Well, for one thing this game was developed by Imagitec Design, rather than the Rare, who did the NES version. It also appears to be using a different rule set. There are five rounds before the final bonus round instead of the three present in the NES version. The fifth round is the speed round. Also, in the bonus round the most common letters are already picked for you. Each player also gets to choose a goofy looking avatar from a selection of six. They’re all very ugly digitized images of actors, but they’re also really hilarious looking which can add to the fun.

According to the game’s box, it features 4000 puzzles. I couldn’t really tell you whether or not any of these puzzles are present in the earlier versions of the game, but if I had to guess, I’d say that there’s likely some overlap. That’s still a lot of puzzles and I’ve yet to see any repeat. Like the vanilla SNES Wheel of Fortune, if you don’t like the look of a particular puzzle, you have the option to change it before the round begins. However, this could be considered to be a bad thing. On one hand this removes some of the randomness from the puzzles and allows you to prevent other players from catching up to you by picking only small puzzles with few letters. On the other hand, it’s merely an option that you can choose not to take advantage of.

The Bad
You’d think that with the tremendous jump in hardware between the SNES and the NES, the graphics would have gotten a huge upgrade, right? Well, no. The graphics look like absolute crap. In fact, they’re so bad that I prefer the NES version. This is supposed to be the “deluxe edition” of an earlier version for the SNES and even that looks better by comparison. Most of the art seems to be taken from photographs of the sets and the avatars are digitized actors. It all looks grainy and ugly. Vanna White in particular looks absolutely atrocious. She seems to have less detail than even the NES version’s sprite. It’s inexcusable how bad this game looks. Is it really that hard to render still scenery? I’m not asking for sprite-scaling and mode 7 effects, just something that doesn’t look like total crap.

There are a few design choices that I find somewhat confusing. I’m not sure why someone decided to add more rounds to the game than there are on the actual show. Usually when my friends and I sit down to a game of Wheel of Fortune it’s just to burn a bit of time. However, the six rounds you have to play through are a bit too many. It would have been really convenient if there was an option to simply choose how many rounds you wanted to play. Yet, there’s a distinct lack of options here, overall. Also, and this might sound like a strange complaint, the “confirm” button for Wheel of Fortune is X. Think about this for a minute. Take a look at a SNES controller and find the X button. See it? Yeah, that’s the button you press to confirm a selection. I don’t know why.

Do you know what really sucks the fun out of this particular Wheel of Fortune? The wheel has absolutely no sense of momentum. It spins around and then just stops suddenly without first slowing down. Part of the appeal of the wheel is the build up before scoring big or losing it all. It’s not that much fun when you don’t know when it’s going to stop. It eliminates the tension of watching the arrow creep towards bankrupt. What’s worse is that I don’t understand how this oversight could have happened. Even the earlier SNES version included momentum to some extent and the NES version was even more accurate. This is just lame.

Playing against the computer players is a complete chore in this version. For one thing, there is no difficulty setting for them and the difficulty they’re set at is completely daft. At one point, a CPU player had the chance to solve a very simple puzzle that was missing about three letters, yet somehow it was unable to. It instead spelled out “winbow seat”. Winbow isn’t a word, and I’m not entirely sure why the computer thought it was. To add to the frustration, the computer players are in no hurry to play the game. Not only do you have to watch as they pick their avatar, you also have to sit there as they spell out their name. It doesn’t take too long, but that’s just the beginning. Every damned time they go to spin the wheel, they let the strength bar fill and deplete over and over again before they finally spin. This happens every turn. Plus, there’s no way to skip the wheel spinning, which is stupid since it’s already a random outcome and doesn’t have any momentum anyways. Can the computer not calculate where the wheel is going to land and save you the time? In conclusion, the computer players exist for one reason: to waste your time. Find some human players.

The Bottom Line
Okay, so let’s say that the only console you own is a SNES, and you absolutely have to get your Wheel of Fortune fix. Is Wheel of Fortune: Deluxe Edition the way to go? The answer is maybe. I’d like to say that vanilla Wheel of Fortune is a better package, but really that’s only because it looks better. In reality, it has its own share of problems that don’t put it ahead of the deluxe offering. So either way you go you’re not getting a perfect package. Deluxe Edition is a rather dismal interpretation of the popular game show. It’s ugly, it’s slow, and it features a number of absolutely baffling design choices. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t horrible, but it is rather BAD. Alternately, if you have an NES, you’d likely be better off grabbing that version instead. I can’t testify about any other version, though I doubt this will be my last Wheel of Fortune review. There’s an N64 version sitting in my local game store that’s calling my name.

SNES · by Adzuken (836) · 2010


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Game added by Big John WV.

Game added March 25, 2009. Last modified January 29, 2024.